• General Homeschooling

    by Published on 05-15-2020 11:32 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. General Homeschooling
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    Just a few short weeks ago, you headed off to work, kids were in public school, life was normal. COVID-19 hits and overnight our world changes. You are now working from home, the kids are distance learning and while you expected to hate it…. You are kind of loving this homeschooling gig.


    Loving it enough that maybe you want to continue after our world returns to the “new normal.” Secular homeschool is here to help you understand how to transition from public school to homeschool. The process may seem daunting, but it really isn’t.

    Becoming a Full-Fledged Homeschooler



    • First, decide if this is 100% for you. That may mean talking with your spouse or partner. Sit down with the kids. If they are not on board, it may be difficult to continue.
    • Read up on your state laws. Every state is different and while you have been “homeschooling” the last few weeks, it is considered schooling at home via public school and therefore NOT homeschooling under the eyes of your local school district.
    • If required, file your letter of intent with your district. Be forewarned, many districts are stating that they are not accepting letters of intent for the current school year (2019-2020). Normally, you may become a homeschooler at any point in the year.
    • Start a file folder, keep all your required papers pertaining to homeschooling together. Even if your state has little requirements, I highly recommend this. Laws change, it is better to be prepared. Plus, if you move while homeschooling, you have proof to present to your new school district.
    • Do the happy dance, you are now a homeschooler! Congrats!



    Wait, what did you do? Deep breath. Breathe in, breathe out. You got this. The Secular Homeschool team has your back. I have been exactly where you are. Really. We pulled my son over issues at public school, made the knee-jerk decision to homeschool, informed the school, filed our letter of intent and then I had a panic attack. Guess what? I survived. My kids survived. And in reality, they didn’t just survive, they thrived. We loved homeschooling. Best decision ever.
    ...
    by Published on 04-19-2020 01:10 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. General Homeschooling

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    Online learning doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg! Honest! All it takes is a little research to find free online learning sites! Here are my 5 favorites! Great to bookmark for those times you need a little something to fill in or supplement daily homeschool learning!




    • Vocabulary Spelling City - they have basic FREE membership
    • Khan Academy - great FREE online videos and tutorials on different subjects - we utilized it for MATH!
    • Printable Worksheets - looking for some worksheets for rainy days, sick days, etc. Yes, you have to print them out but they are great to have on hand.
    • Duolingo - FREE online foreign language. If your kids want to try French and hate it, it was FREE and they can try a different language!
    • Learning Games for Kids - Everything from typing/keyboarding to learning the States is available in fun gaming form.
    by Published on 04-01-2020 12:58 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. General Homeschooling
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    Welcome to the second installment of our Science Project of the Month Series! Each month, Secular Homeschool will feature a science project that you can do with your homeschoolers. Whether you are “science-y” or not, these will be easy, fun, and perfect to do as a family. The fun facts included will supplement the science lesson, so be sure to check those out as well.

    Stuck indoors? Us too. Yep, as homeschoolers, we school at home but we are also used to going where we want, when we want. We are all in the same boat. Stuck at home and silently going bonkers! Kids are being a little crazier daily, and you are about to lose it. You need a science project to distract them. I have just the thing! Not only will this project keep them busy today, but they will need to observe and care for it for the next few weeks. Science experiments are an opportunity for you to create a learning unit.

    Create A Unit Study

    If you are new to homeschooling and unsure of how to create a learning unit or have no idea what I am talking about, let me explain further. Yes, this can be a 1-day science project. But you can expand on it and create a unit study. Take this lesson further by:

    • Reading: Students should read about the life cycle of each vegetable you will be regrowing.
    • Math: Create charts of the days and measure the growth of the vegetables.
    • Science: Observe daily what is changing and log your theory on the reasons why.
    • History: When did humans begin to cultivate vegetables? When did romaine lettuce first appear?
    • Life Skills: Growing your own food and reducing waste.
    • Spelling: Alphabetize the names of the plants you are regrowing; have the students study up for a spelling quiz.
    • Socialization: Create a video to share with friends or relatives of what you are doing.


    See how easy it is to turn something as simple as regrowing what we would toss in the composter into a lesson or two? Homeschooling is about turning everything you do daily into a lesson. Kids are sponges and absorb everything around them, all the time. They are constantly learning, so make use of that.
    ...
    by Published on 04-01-2020 12:40 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. General Homeschooling
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    Welcome to our second installment in our Arts and Craft Project of the Month Series! Each month Secular Homeschool will feature an art or craft project that you can do with your homeschoolers. Whether or not you are artsy, these will be easy, fun and perfect to do as a family. I will include several fun facts that relate to the featured project, so check the bottom of the page for learning opportunities as you craft.


    Our world has changed a bit in the last few weeks; many of us are stuck at home kids are starting to get a little cabin fever and drive us bonkers. Our Arts and Crafts Projects of the Month is here to help you. Not only will it give you something to change up your homeschooling day, but it can be used with stuff you already have around the house. No need to run to the store. Stay home, stay safe and craft with your kids.


    This month, because kids of all ages are home, I am giving you several ideas of things to create. Create one, create all--that is up to you. Have fun, get messy and adjust any of these as needed based on the supplies you have on hand. Let’s get crafty with some homeschool art projects.

    Project 1: Fork Flower Painting

    Level: easy
    Good for all ages but great for younger ages with adult help because of scissor use.

    Supplies


    • Copy paper
    • Paint (think flower colors; blue, yellow, orange, pink, etc.): tempura, acrylic, fingerpaint (any paint will do, just remember not all is washable once dried)
    • Plastic forks (real forks can be used, just be sure to use washable paint)
    • Markers or crayons
    • Green construction paper, if you have it
    • Scissors
    • Glue or glue stick
    • Disposable plate for paint


    Instructions:

    1. Take your disposable paper plate. Place small dabs of paint on it. Make sure to leave room between colors so they don’t mix.
    2. Lay out your sheet of copy paper. You can tape the top edge down to stop it moving around.
    3. I suggest 1 fork for each color unless you want to work on color mixing.
    4. Use the back of the fork to lie in the paint and then place it on the paper. Depending on the fork, you may have to rock it to coat it with paint completely.
    5. You can create flower shapes such as a tulip with a single fork pressing, repeated fork pattern to create a daisy, multiple layers to create a mum. Use your imagination. There is no wrong flower. Let dry.
    6. Take your marker or crayon and draw stems, grass, leaves.
    7. You can also use green construction paper and scissors to create 3-dimensional leaves, gluing them in place.


    Personal Note
    : The younger kids needed more assistance to get a good pressing. The older kids wanted to decorate their page more with sky, clouds, birds.

    Fun Facts:

    • Several centuries ago, in Holland, tulips were more valuable than gold. My yard must be worth a fortune!
    • Broccoli is actually a flower. And tasty steamed with some cheese!
    • The largest Flower in the world is the flower of the Puya raimondii, which has a potential overall flower height of 50 feet tall and bears over 8,000 white flowers. Now this, I would like to see. WOW!

    ...
    by Published on 04-01-2020 12:29 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. General Homeschooling
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    Use writing prompts to get those reluctant writers writing. It really works!


    So, your homeschool is buzzing along through lower grades, things are going smoothly. Your kids bump up to middle school level and suddenly writing is required. More than a few sentences or a silly story. Actual writing. Prep for high school and eventually college. If you have a reluctant writer as I did, this turns a simple task into a WWE match. Seriously. The main homeschool fight on a daily basis with my youngest was over writing.

    Surviving the writing journey.

    He is a very literal thinker. Write a story about going to the store and buying milk, results in; I walked to the store. I bought milk. I walked home. *sigh Ok, what did you do in between? What did you see? Who was at the store? How did you pay? Did you talk to anyone? You need to elaborate. Which usually resulted in a screaming WHAT? You didn’t say that. You said write going to the store to get milk. I did, but... And continue this conversation for at least 15 more minutes, to which he would usually just get told to do his other work and I let it drop. I was tired of the battles. Was that good parenting? Probably not, at the time, but pick your battles. And in the meantime, work on some solutions that take it out of MY hands and put the writing back in his hands. He still has to do it, but has some control over it. Here is how I accomplished that.
    ...
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